In Good Hands: The Story of Young Bibas

Nepal, Patient Story
September 14, 2021

“Other than the face, our hands are the most communicative part of our body when connecting to the outside world. They serve both form and function.” —Dr. James Chang, past-President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and Consulting Medical Officer for ReSurge International

The use of our hands is something many of us take for granted. Bibas, a vibrant young man from Nepal, was only seven when he was gravely injured when a high-voltage electric wire was accidentally cut on a construction site. The live wire swung wildly, making contact with Bibas’ body and leaving him badly burned. His family rushed him to the local hospital, but the damage was done. His right arm had to be amputated, and he sustained severe burns across the rest of his body. Bibas developed a burn contracture on his left hand, rendering his only remaining arm unusable. He had to rely entirely on his mother for all day-to-day tasks, drastically impacting her ability to provide for her family.

For months, Bibas’ mother stayed home to tend to her son with no hope for the future. Each day, his burn scar contracture became worse as his hand grew but his skin remained taut. Then the family heard about ReSurge’s Surgical Outreach Partner, Dr. Kiran Nakarmi and his team in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dr. Nakarmi operated on Bibas, releasing his burn scar contracture. After surgery, Dr. Nakarmi referred Bibas to Mohan Dangol, a Burn and Hand Therapist. Mohan oversaw his recovery for weeks, employing a therapy technique using splinting and hand exercises. Bibas’ surgery and physical therapy were all offered at no cost to his family.

Seven years later, Bibas is fourteen and living a fully mobile life! He has learned to write with his left hand and rides to school every day on his bike. Supporters like YOU made this transformation possible!

Bibas shows off his new bike (and his ability to ride it) with his hand therapist, Mr. Dangol.

The Kirtipur Hospital where Bibas received his treatment, has consistently had a busy burn program. Seeing a great need for more advanced training, ReSurge collaborated with Kirtipur Hospital to start the first-hand fellowship training program in Nepal. The program is increasing surgical capacity so that more children like Bibas can receive life-changing care by trained medical professionals who specialize in hand reconstruction and microsurgery. Kirtipur Hospital can perform all aspects of hand surgery now, even reattaching fingers or the whole hand when needed. Restoring the function of just one hand has a dramatic impact on not only the individual but also on their family and the wider community.

In low-income countries, where billions of people still warm themselves and cook with open fires, someone suffers horrific burns every five seconds. Without your help, most victims would remain disfigured and disabled for the rest of their lives.

Please consider making an even greater impact by starting a sustaining gift today to help people like Bibas well into the future. By committing to a monthly donation, you can ensure that surgical capacity continues to grow in low-income countries. Your gift will have a direct impact on patients like Bibas who are in desperate need of a transformed life!

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